A catalogue of steps
A catalogue of steps is a long term, performance and research project, a conceptual framing of an evolving collection of choreographic fragments, culled from videos of my work from 1990 through 2004. The chronologically enumerated fragments, of which there are over 300, last anywhere from 10 seconds to up to 4 minutes. The fragments are classified through an invented taxonomy (originally developed with dancers Katerina Andreou, Nibia Pastrana-Santiago, Elizabeth Ward, and Oren Barnoy) that identifies movement sources, spatial strategies, stylistic references, tools, objects, etc. The taxonomy is based on entirely subjective details – what I could remember of what I was trying to achieve then, what is evident on the video, what I know now that I couldn't see before, and perhaps what could have happened, but didn't.
The live component of the project is organized through visits to a collection of fragments. A collection of fragments is organized along thematic or taxonomic lines, or sometimes as a response to the site A catalogue of steps is temporarily occupying. The fragments are danced by one, two, or many dancers in different combinations, with the emphasis being on the repetition of a single fragment for an extended period of time. The dancers learn the choreography from the video, omitting identifying details of the original work such as costume, text, lights, music. The visits, which take place in atypical settings for dance performances, often occur during the day and in natural light, and are generally durational in nature. Spaces such as botanical gardens, parks, historic villas, churches, public buildings, private homes, museums, dance studios, galleries, and libraries are some of the places where A catalogue of steps has been or could be performed.
A group of flags have been created for the project by the designer Olivier Vadrot. Each one represents a different work of Dorvillier's from 1990 to 2004. Installed at the site for each visit, the flags announce the presence of A catalogue of steps, welcome the visitor, and create a context of celebration.
Without trying to recreate the original performance, nor reproduce its meaning or aboutness, yet being informed and softened up exactly by this, the performers and I are aiming to retain the formal impact of choreography. Choreography in this case being the writing of movement(s) or actions, specifically those inscribed by, or on, or in, the human body – yet distanced from the practice of dance as a system of specifically coded linguistic transmission.
...some writings on A catalogue of steps
Dive into a step, Katerina Andreou, Diary of an Image - DD Dorvillier - Danspace Project Platform 2014
Astonishment of stealing decisions, Oren Barnoy, Diary of an Image - DD Dorvillier - Danspace Project Platform 2014
Concept and choreography
March 13 & 14, 2021 A catalogue of steps ...in one room, Festival Art Danse, Le Dancing CDCN Dijon - Bourgogne - Franche-Comté (Dijon, France)
September 29 & 30, 2018 A catalogue of steps : dances are ghosts, Musée Fabre, ouverture de saison ICI - CCN Montpellier (Montpellier, France)
April 1st, 2017 A week of steps at the Villa Empain, Performatik Festival, Villa Empain (Bruxelles, Belgium)
October 22, 2016 A catalogue of steps at the fair, Parades for FIAC, Musée de l'Orangerie (Paris, France)
May 19 - 24, 2015 A catalogue of steps, Casa Serralves Collection Serralves Museum (Porto, Portugal)
April 26 - 29, 2015 A catalogue of steps, Beginner's Love 2015 Natural beginners, Nuvolari (La Rouvraie, France)
June 19 - 20, 2014 A catalogue of steps, Cartoucherie Collection June Events, Atelier de Paris / Carolyn Carlson (Paris, France)
May 21, 23, 28 & June 4, 11, 14, 2014 A catalogue of steps, St. Mark's Collection 2014 Danspace Project (New York, USA)
June 28 - 29, 2014 A catalogue of steps, Collection Château de la Ballue Festival Extension sauvage (La Rouvraie, France)
A catalogue of steps was initially co-commissioned by Danspace Project, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Atelier de Paris/Carolyn Carlson in Paris, and Festival Entre cour et jardins in Dijon. The project was developed during multiple LMCC artist residencies as part of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program, through the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University, both made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as Atelier de Paris/Carolyn Carlson in Paris, Entre cour et jardins, Dijon, ICPP Wesleyan University, Middletown, PS1/MOMA, Studiolabs at Ménagerie de Verre, Paris, STUK Kunstencentrum Leuven, Performing Arts Forum (PAF), St. Erme France.
Additional support comes from the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Creative Capital Special Opportunities grant, and French US Exchange in Dance (FUSED).
Coproduction 2016 : Mairie de Paris in the frame of Parades for FIAC (Paris, France)
Coproduction and residencies 2018 : DRAC Bourgogne - Franche-Comté, Musée Fabre, ICI - CCN Montpellier, PACT Zollverein.
A catalogue of steps is supported by CN D Pantin, La Manufacture Lausanne / Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale, as part of a research around practices and methodologies, led by DD Dorvillier and dance researcher Myrto Katsiki.